India Take On Zimbabwe In ODI Series With Eye On World T20

India will be looking to fine-tune their team selection and give youngsters a chance to showcase their wares against Zimbabwe

BENGALURU | Updated: 17 August, 2022 6:59 pm IST
KL Rahul is returning to competitive cricket after he copped a groin injury during the Indian Premier League 2022

As India take the field to lock horns with Zimbabwe at Harare on Thursday in the first ODI of the three-match series, they will be looking to fine-tune their team selection and give youngsters a chance to showcase their wares against a rather weak opposition.

Though it is an ODI series, it is seen as a preparation for the upcoming T20 World Cup which will take place later this year. After this ODI series, India are slated to play Asia Cup – which will be played in T20 format – that begins on August 27.

These three encounters are especially crucial for KL Rahul and Deepak Chahar. Rahul, who is also the captain of the team for this series, is returning to competitive cricket after he copped a groin injury during the Indian Premier League 2022. Since then he has undergone surgery and rehabilitation and must be gung-ho to firm up his place for the marquee T20 tournament.

Deepak Chahar was also an integral part of India’s T20 team before he suffered a back injury. But a lot of water has flown under the bridge, and in his absence seamers such as Avesh Khan and Arshdeep Singh stepped up and performed exceedingly well.

Chahar has the wherewithal to thump quick runs and if he manages to shine with both bat and ball during the series, he might recapture his place in India’s T20 squad. Deepak Hooda is another strong contender for an all-rounder’s place and is one of the many examples of India’s robust bench strength.

Due to Rishabh Pant’s exhilarating show in all the formats, Sanju Samson – despite turning in stellar performances – hasn’t been a regular part of India’s playing XI. Though Pant’s place in the team seems secured at the moment, Samson is eager to make his mark.

Shubman Gill batted with self-assured aplomb in the last ODI series against West Indies and he has a chance to do an encore and become India’s regular opener in the ODIs. In the first match, Gill is likely to open with Shikhar Dhawan while Rahul might bat at the no.3 spot.

As far as Zimbabwe is concerned, their batting revolves around Sikandar Raza who has cracked two half-centuries and two tons this year. His brilliant show with the bat was instrumental in Zimbabwe winning the recent ODI series against Bangladesh. This victory has boosted the morale of the hosts but competing against India will be a tall order.

India and Zimbabwe have played 23 ODIs in Zimbabwe, out of which the visitors have won 19 and lost only 4. In fact, the last time Zimbabwe defeated India in their backyard was in 2010. India, despite sending mostly second-string teams, have won 11 ODIs on the trot in Zimbabwe.

Overall, both the teams have played 63 ODIs with India emerging victorious in 51 and Zimbabwe in 10. Two matches ended in ties. Most of these 10 victories for Zimbabwe came in the late 1990s when they had become a pretty good ODI side.

At present, there is a vast chasm between the quality of both teams, but the hosts will be hoping to put up at least a spirited fight against India and earn their spurs.

India squad: KL Rahul (C), Shikhar Dhawan (VC), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Deepak Hooda, Shahbaz Ahmed, Axar Patel, Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Mohammed Siraj, Deepak Chahar

Zimbabwe squad: Regis Chakabva (c), Tanaka Chivanga, Bradley Evans, Luke Jongwe, Ryan Burl, Innocent Kaia, Kaitano Takudzwanashe, Clive Madande, Wesley Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani, John Masara, Tony Munyonga, Richard Ngarava, Victor Nyauchi, Sikandar Raza, Milton Shumba, Donald Tiripano

Also Read Story

Terrorist associated with LeT killed in Bandipora encounter

Rahul Gandhi to retain Rae Bareli, Priyanka Gandhi to contest from Wayanad

PM Modi to release Rs 20,000 Cr under PM-KISAN scheme during Varanasi visit

Congress criticizes Modi after West Bengal train collision